Updated: 21/02/17 : 05:48:15
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Parents fight for Autism and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Distraught parents who are  fighting to receive essential Autism services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for their children met with local TD Martin Kenny in Sligo yesterday.

The meeting heard of how their children have been let down by the HSE and are just moving through the system without receiving the services they require.

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Kenny told The Leitrim Observer; "The personal stories from parents here this morning are truly heartbreaking, parents are distraught in trying to get essential therapy services for their children. It is clear from listening to these families that they are having to fight tooth and nail for every appointment and assessment that their children need.

"There is not the resources there that is needed to provide an adequate service to these children. It is not acceptable for children to be waiting months for an assessment and then having to wait up to 2 years to see a therapist or a psychiatrist.

"We need to recruit more therapists and psychiatrists in Sligo and Leitrim. The child psychiatrist resigned last week and was only in the position four months. I also understand the previous child psychiatrist was only in the position a few months and during their time they were on sick leave due to stress from the job."

Deputy Kenny said the caseload for Sligo-Leitrim is clearly to large for one psychiatrist and we need to recruit at least two people in order to reduce waiting lists. Children also are not receiving the proper level of care if their psychiatrist or therapist is constantly changing and the type of treatment is also changing, he stressed.

"I and the parents of these children want to be as helpful as possible to work with the HSE to ensure that adequate and appropriate services are in place immediately. I intend to seek a meeting with senior management in the HSE as soon as possible to discus resolving this issue," he said.

A desperate father told The Sligo Champion that his suicidal 13-year-old daughter has been on a waiting list since last April. She has since self-harmed.

The father, who wished to remain anonymous to protect the identity of his daughter, said he assumed she would get the required assistance and described the current situation as 'an abuse of children'.